U.S. Rep. David McKinley (1st-WV) visited NETL in Morgantown Thursday, April 18, to meet with NETL’s Director and receive an update regarding ongoing energy research activity including stops at the facility’s visualization lab, the NETL Joule supercomputer, the new Reaction Analysis and Chemical Transformation (ReACT) facility where researchers use novel tools to advance the science of chemical reactions and energy conversion, and a facility where researchers were examining a core sample from an experimental Marcellus Shale well.
Rep. McKinley, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees the Department of Energy and other key federal agencies, recently introduced legislation in support of energy infrastructure improvements and is a frequent visitor to NETL to learn about upcoming innovations in the field. He serves on the Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and as vice chair of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment. Rep. Mckinley’s April 18 NETL visit was to gather additional information on the laboratory’s ongoing energy research activities.
At the ReACT stop, researchers briefed Rep. McKinley on how the new lab will help accelerate important scientific investigations leading to development of more efficient energy conversion innovations for producing more energy from less expensive and abundant fossil fuels while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Understanding chemical reactions—changes that occur when two or more substances combine to form a new substance—under varying pressures, chemical concentrations, and temperatures is important to discovering innovative ways to produce energy. The new laboratory provides reactors and process-scale equipment to test new chemistry at a wide range of pressures and temperatures that are not generally available in typical research laboratories.
Another stop on the tour was at NETL’s Joule supercomputer, one of the fastest and most energy-efficient supercomputers available for energy research.
Rep. McKinley also visited a laboratory where a team of researchers were conducting an in-depth high-tech examination of a 139-foot core sample taken from a Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracture test well in western Monongalia County, West Virginia — research that could yield technologies and techniques to improve recovery efficiency and environmental safety throughout the Marcellus Shale region.
The core sample came from a new experimental well. The proximity of the well, just six miles from NETL’s Morgantown site, afforded an unprecedented opportunity for the research team to use an array of high-tech equipment to unlock the secrets of the core sample.
NETL is a DOE national laboratory that produces technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. From developing creative innovations and efficient energy systems that make coal more competitive, to advancing technologies that enhance oil and natural gas extraction and transmission processes, NETL research is providing breakthroughs and discoveries that support domestic energy initiatives, stimulate a growing economy, and improve the health, safety, and security of all Americans